Buttons thumbnail 1
Buttons thumbnail 2
+9
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 138, The Harry and Carol Djanogly Gallery

This object consists of 14 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Buttons

1785-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
These buttons are for a man's formal coat. Large buttons became fashionable in the 1780s. By this date they were entirely decorative, as the coat was usually worn open over a matching waistcoat. The waistcoat would have had a set of smaller, matching buttons.

Trading
The Staffordshire potter Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) sold small quantities of steel-mounted Jasper medallions in his London showrooms, but the majority were mounted and sold by other manufacturers. According to his catalogue of 1779, the price of cameos with 'several Figures' was 'ten Times less than any other durable Imitations that have ever been made in Europe'.

Materials & Making
Steel was relatively inexpensive, but the labour-intensive facetting on the best cut-steel work made it costly. The cut-steel mounts on Wedgwood's Jasper are often attributed to the great Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), a friend and rival of Wedgwood's. However, Wedgwood also sold Jasper for mounting to others, including Green & Vale of Birmingham and Vernon & Hasselwood of Wolverhampton. Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Woodstock were the chief centres for cut-steel.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 14 parts.

  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
  • Button
Materials and Techniques
Jasperware, mounted in cut steel
Brief Description
A set of twelve buttons, blue jasperware with a white relief, mounted in cut steel, made by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons in Etruria, the steel probably Birmingham, 1785-1800
Physical Description
Buttons of blue jasperware with white relief, mounted in cut steel.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 3.2cm
Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 07/10/1999 by KN
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The vogue for large buttons began in France and was taken up in England in the 1780s. It encouraged the use of decorative materials like cut steel. The large buttons are from a man's dress coat; the smaller ones are from the waistcoat or cuffs of the coat sleeves.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Steel probably made in Birmingham; Jasper made at Josiah Wedgwood's factory, Etruria, Staffordshire
Summary
Object Type
These buttons are for a man's formal coat. Large buttons became fashionable in the 1780s. By this date they were entirely decorative, as the coat was usually worn open over a matching waistcoat. The waistcoat would have had a set of smaller, matching buttons.

Trading
The Staffordshire potter Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) sold small quantities of steel-mounted Jasper medallions in his London showrooms, but the majority were mounted and sold by other manufacturers. According to his catalogue of 1779, the price of cameos with 'several Figures' was 'ten Times less than any other durable Imitations that have ever been made in Europe'.

Materials & Making
Steel was relatively inexpensive, but the labour-intensive facetting on the best cut-steel work made it costly. The cut-steel mounts on Wedgwood's Jasper are often attributed to the great Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), a friend and rival of Wedgwood's. However, Wedgwood also sold Jasper for mounting to others, including Green & Vale of Birmingham and Vernon & Hasselwood of Wolverhampton. Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Woodstock were the chief centres for cut-steel.
Bibliographic Reference
Mason, Shena (Ed.), Matthew Boulton: selling what all the world desires, Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, 2009ill. p.147
Collection
Accession Number
276 to N-1866

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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